For me the act of painting is a pleasant puzzle. I relish the challenge of manipulating the visual information. My attempts are to create something that rings the artistic bell inside me. I remake or transform topics through my aesthetic insight. Only after I have had my way with the elements of a painting, am I ready to offer it out to others. It is my desire to form a link with you. This connection is conditioned by your personal perspective and appreciation. I value your responses on my work.
The recipe for my approach to painting has taken many ingredients.
My time at the Ontario College of Art, added to by the encouragement of Matthew Kousal from whom I first took painting lessons as a teenager, was the broth of my technical knowledge. The addition of much reading on painting in books and magazines added to the base.
My small town and Mennonite background, riddled with practicality and rural interest, must be considered as a starting point for a singular career in which I took the unusual step of not only making my pictures but also presenting them to the public in my own gallery.
Since my wife and I have no children, we have travelled to the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Europe a great deal since our marriage in 1966. That opportunity to visit where, what and when we wanted, combined with my wife Marilyn’s voracious reading, lead me to artistic influences from across North America, Europe, the U.K. and Ireland many times. We have visited South America, Africa, the South Pacific and New Zealand. We have also had a chance to see Iceland. The spice of the many people that I have met has seasoned my attitude and observation.
A great dollop of good fortune with opportunities that presented themselves along the way has aided my chances to stay afloat in a business that chews up so many people. Into this dish we must also add the strong support that I have experienced from the public, not only here in Waterloo Region but also from many distant places.
The zest of a naturally enquiring mind has lead me to paint a great variety of subjects including many commissioned pieces that have taken me into new and exciting territory.
The flavouring of this dish is infused with the idea that I am not much different than most people and that if an approach to a visual subject charms me, it will also have magic for others.